Veteran Israeli journalist Yair Lapid enters politics

Veteran Israeli journalist Yair Lapid has left his job as a television news anchor to enter politics.

It is expected that Lapid, who made the announcement Sunday, will form his own independent party with a liberal bent.

Lapid left his job at Israel’s Channel 2, with no election on the horizon, just days before the Knesset Law Committee is scheduled to vote on a bill that would institute a six-month to one-year cooling-off period for journalists before they can get elected. It has been nicknamed the Yair Lapid Bill.

Lapid also has a weekly column in the Yediot Acharonot daily newspaper.

Lapid’s late father, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid left journalism to head the liberal-secular Shinui Party. His mother is author Shulamit Lapid.

Polls have shown that a Lapid-led party could garner the second most votes in a Knesset election, behind Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, and that it would likely take the most votes away from the Kadima Party.

Several current members of Israel’s Knesset are former journalists, including the current chairman of the Labor Party, Shelly Yachimovich.

Meanwhile, Noam Shalit, father of Gilad Shalit, who was released from captivity in Gaza in October, announced Monday that he would run for a place on the Labor Party list for the next Knesset elections.

“Following years of a public battle, during which I got to know Israel society deeply, both its beautiful and ethical sides, I have decided to join public life,” he told reporters.